Getting older is part of life, says entrepreneur Sue Giers. And she thinks about beauty ideals and gray hair.
Every year on my birthday, I remind myself that I'm getting older. I am now a "50-something," as my children affectionately call me. Yet inside I feel more like a "35-something." At least, that is my perception on a good day. And yet: I have age now.
This is not meant in a negative way. I can proudly say that I am a fit 52-year-old. Apparently, I have bathed in dragon's blood. I've given birth to three children, fought through a divorce, started a company with my sister and a great team right off the bat, and survived two Corona quarantines without catching it. The rush hour of life has extended seamlessly into my 50s because of the separation, because I had to set everything back to the beginning again. I am content and grateful. And yet, sometimes I am afraid of getting older. After all, I grew up in a culture where supermodels were declared the ideal of beauty 30 years ago. I would have to be lying if I claimed to have been unimpressed by these icons. And now I'm experiencing, firsthand, what it feels like when Mother Nature gradually reclaims this leased self-image of agelessness.
I've never had anyone buy me a drink or compliment me when I've walked into a bar. I've always been the jeans girl rather than the vamp and felt free in my choice of fashion and beauty routine. But now I sense a change in those closest to me, "Mommy, so you shouldn't wear that short dress anymore" or "Mommy, I now know where your "moodswings" are coming from, you're menopausal". Not quite, but my vitality is decreasing in microdoses, I can usually hide it well from myself and others; the estrogens are slowly retiring along with the collagen. I'm compensating for that. The good thing about getting older is that at some point we know what we are worth to ourselves. We no longer need the constant validation of others to feel good about ourselves. But I would be lying if my self-love was only shaped by inner values.
I love spending my money on coloring my gray hair. When I look tired even though I don't feel that way, I go to the beauty doc - why not gently test progress? I enjoy running around the Alster when I feel my - still - firm gluteus maximus.
I work against the aging process in moderation, knowing full well that I can't stop it. I may be accused of self-optimization, but I decide where it begins and where it ends. That, too, is emancipation for me.
As a Best Ager, I am now in demand.
We "old women" are now back in the spotlight because the economy is suddenly interested in us, not least because we are wealthy and in the majority. Media and beauty companies are discovering "adult women" as an important target group. For example, the current cover of "Madame" celebrates the 80-year-old actress Senta Berger. However, with a photo in which she is 20!
The social networks are seen as a catalyst for this new "Ageless Beauty - Trend" and so even the "old" venerable Stern wrote about successful Influencerinnen Ü-40 like me: "Da geht noch was". A pleasing article with a headline, but which unfortunately confirms the mustiness in the minds.
In the past, women were declared invisible when their hair turned gray. Today, such outward attributes of aging have a new meaning: gray hair as a fashion statement is trendy, and the percentage of over-50s who say they dress deliberately inconspicuously has dropped from 63 to 49 percent in the last 10 years. Thanks to social media. But actually, these are small steps in terms of numbers.
From my network, I also keep receiving grief-stricken news of covert "age discrimination": in many industries, people are apparently being mercilessly discarded on the basis of age. There, too, Corona acts as a pretext for expelling some women over 50 into early retirement or offering termination agreements: Too expensive, too inconvenient. At least, that's what I'm told.
In fashion, from my perspective, style and coolness fortunately have neither an expiration date nor an age limit. As long as I remain curious, I feel young, it's that simple! I compensate for the diminishing receptiveness of too much new information with life experience. I trade speed for precision, my impatience for composure. It has been proven: The more positive we are about getting older, the younger we feel. That's a timeless perspective.